Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Kazakhstan: Prime-Minister Launched Blog

On January 9 the Press Office of the Government informed that Karim Massimov, the Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan, started his private, yet official blog.

Last December the Prime –Minister visited Russian capital, where he gave the interview to Echo of Moscow radio station. There he was asked a series of uneasy questions, including the one about LiveJournal, the popular blogging platform, being blocked in Kazakhstan. Then Karim Massimov has said that he blogs himself, regularly spends his time in the internet and has no problems with accessing LiveJournal. He has promised to sort this problem out on his return to Kazakhstan. So far, LiveJournal is still blocked, though the Prime-Minister has started his private blog … on the Cabinet of Ministers’ web-site.

Adam-Kesher ironically says:

If it’s gone this way, then everyone, whose LJ – accounts are inaccessible in Kazakhstan, should receive an account on the governmental portal!

Meanwhile, the first visitors of the “Premiere-blog” are complaining about low speed of comments posting option:

I have “Saving the comment” notice hanging in Massimov’s blog already for 30 minutes… nashingyou complains [ru]. Adam assumes that all the time the comment is being moderated; and alim-atenbek is joking that it is not only the comment being checked, but also the identity of the commenter [ru].

While addressing to the visitors of his blog, Massimov noted that the main purpose of the project was “presentation of the high-quality, interesting and helpful information to the users in the user-friendly form”. Also, the Prime-Minister mentioned that “in future the blog would be filled with almost all information, which is necessary for the site visitors”. Frankly, it is not quite clear what is the reason for keeping the web-sties of the Government, ministries and agencies…

In the meantime, Askhat is wondering about two things [kaz]:

“Why the blog is in Russian only?”, and “When the access to LiveJournal will be open?”

Shortly after the PM’s blog has been presented, he ordered that all public officers (first of all, governors and mayors) started their own blogs, and also replied to one of the comments in his blog – the one about service in Astana City Bath House.

Here is what pycm writes in this regard [ru]:

Today there are slightly over 160 comments to the Greeting post in the PM’s blog. There’s merely everything, including the desperate cry about the service in the capital's Bath House! The only one thing missing there is the feedback. It does not look like a man of flesh and blood – having emotions, knowledge, skills and (more importantly) power – is sitting there. So far there is a persistent feeling that the blog is run by a robot or by four-five small clerks having no idea of the results they want to get… During difficult times of crisis there is a splendid job opportunity opened, e.g. a blog-secretary, Prime-Minister’s internet friend. But it is still an open issue of having mutual friends and any use of this venture …

In fact, the urge of the authorities to establish a two-way communication with the people is more than welcomed. But, likely, there is no understanding what is the use of blogs in principle. The order to start blogging is amusing, since it will not result in anything, except for a dozen of “dead born blogs”. Additionally, the “Book of Complaints” is already implemented on every governor's and mayor's web-site, where questions can be addressed directly to them.

The Prime-Minister's order, in fact, admits that the state program of e-Government development has failed. As for the question about the Bath House, which quickly became a popular mem, it is far from what the Prime-Minister should care about. Nevertheless, this also demonstrates the level of the society, where people think that they must go only to the Master to seek justice in such a minor issue.

I am not sure all of our public officers are skilled internet users, but it is not the problem. The problem is that the Prime-Minister ordered them to start blogs at their web-sites. I think it would be more efficient if all of them were gathered on one platform, say, LiveJournal, so that we could add them as “friends” and easily read their posts along with other entries of other “friends”,

nashingyou says [ru].

It is true, since not many users in Kazakhstan know how to use RSS, preferring to browse pages instead. The problem that remains unsolved though – LiveJournal is still blocked in Kazakhstan. Nevertheless, the new and the first high-ranking blogger has already received some recommendations.

It would be interesting to see PM’s direct speech in the blog entries, where he would talk about specific state policies and quality of their implementation, about status of various economy sectors, about world politics, or provide feedback to criticism in the mass-media. As for the technical aspect, the negative point is that there is no option for threaded comments. Another important point is regular updating. The greeting entry was published on December 31, then no new entries have been posted for more than two weeks.

5 comments

  • Incredible ironies. But don’t you think even this small step towards dialogue (even if disingenuous) can help to start change people’s expectations of what to expect of leaders?

  • Sure. Although the best way to make people do so is, I believe, to conduct predictable policies and properly enforce laws, rather than to shape the image by means of techy toys, without clear understanding of what to do with them!

  • I agree with you Adil, that the best way is the conduct policies and enforce laws.. however, a lot of enforcement cannot be done by mere force and dictatorship. So people have to believe in something and have a common ideology.. I think a blog really helps to build this ‘community’. For example, I’m sure people read GV regularly and others will feel a community and trust the information provided in another blog site.
    My point being, a country can build its sense of community/nationalism/ideals through the use of the internet.. so it is strange that LiveJournal is blocked there!!! How absurd! What’s the reason behind this?

    Also, another point is, however many blogs the PM writes and updates, does Kazakhstan have infrastructure in place for fast, efficient internet connectivity which everyone can learn to use and tap into??

  • Sure, but the blog we are speaking about has yet to become a tool of creating a community – the blogger does not reply to comments in his blog, entries are rare and idle. It is a “book of complaints” or a “Q&A page”. Or rather just a Q-page.

    My earlier posts covered the Livejournal story – it is not known what is the official reason behind filtering, because they have never admitted the blockage. It is believed that there is some connection to one person, who fled the country and leaks discrediting materials in LJ.

    Infrastructure has been expanding quite vibrantly over the last year with access getting cheaper.

  • Shaman

    The Hazara Mongols of Quetta and Afghanistan need help. Help help help. Raise your voice in favour of Afghan and Pakistani oppressed Hazara-Mongols please.

    http://hazaranewspakistan.wordpress.com/

    http://www.hazara.net

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site